Special Report on Military Biofuels

aussie-av-2Military biofuels returns to the spotlight as DoD releases phase one of its program to source sub-$4 advanced, drop-in biofuels. 

In today’s special report, reaction around the globe and a special close-up look at the Fulcrum BioEnergy project.

As reported in the Digest on Monday, the DoD will award three contracts totaling $16 million to Emerald Biofuels, Natures BioReserve and Fulcrum Biofuels for drop-in military biofuels.

In today’s Special Report, we take a close up look at the Fulcrum project in the Digest Interview, here.

And, news that Fulcrum has successfully demonstrated its jet fuel and diesel technology, here.

Under the grants, the companies will develop plans for biorefineries supply aviation and marine diesel biofuels at less than $4 per gallon. The grants will be matched by $17 million in investments by the companies, which have proposed making biofuels primarily from oil seed crops and waste residues.

The overall Defense Production Act Title II program is divided into two phases: this phase, for plan development. A second phase, which would be funded out of FY 2013 and later year funds, would award up to $180 million in additional contracts to accelerate the construction of at least one biorefinery capable of providing the US military with sufficient sub-$4 renewable fuels to meet its Great Green Fleet plans.

Reaction around the world

A coalition of Advanced Biofuels Association, the Air Line Pilots Association, Airlines for America, the American Council on Renewable Energy, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Security Project, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the National Farmers Union and Operation Free was swift to applaud the DoD:

“Adopting advanced “drop-in” biofuels will help the DoD and the nation achieve its broader national security goals,” the groups said. “As the largest institutional consumer of liquid fuels in the world, the U.S. military is incredibly susceptible to the volatile global oil market. The DoD estimates that every 25 cent increase in the price of a gallon of petroleum-based fuel costs the military $1 billion in additional fuel costs. It is increasingly important to find domestically produced alternatives to improve the country’s energy security, meet global energy demands, and provide jobs, while strengthening our military and domestic economy.

“The DoD’s partnership with private industry is a critical step towards achieving these goals. Already, private companies have made substantial investments in research and development to ensure access to these advanced biofuels. The U.S. Navy proved biofuels’ efficacy as a fuel with its successful debut of the “Great Green Fleet,” the first aircraft carrier strike group to be powered by 50-50 mixtures of biofuels and petroleum-based fuel. And the Air Force continues to certify its aircraft to operate on a variety of 50-50 biofuel blends, with a goal of sourcing up to 50% of its domestic aviation fuel requirements from alternative fuels by 2016.

Michael McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association, added:

“The Advanced Biofuels Association applauds the Pentagon’s announcement of the first grant recipients under the Defense Production Act. This is a significant step in supporting our industries’ efforts to build commercial drop in fuels facilities.  Biofuels offer outstanding performance and environmental sustainability, while also providing a diversity of fuels that increases security for the men and women serving in our armed forces.  The vision of the military once again leads the world in the evolution of fuels, and is one that should be supported and admired by all.”

The Big Military Biofuels Build-Up: will it happen, and how, and why?

In today’s Digest, Will Rogers updates us on the operational and strategic rationale behind the U.S. military’s energy efforts.

By: Will Rogers, Consumer Energy Report

The recent debate over the role of the military in investing in renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency and conservation programs and alternative biofuels has included many voices that sometimes conflate the linked but distinct efforts by defense officials to address energy concerns. The rationale behind the military’s energy programs can be broken down into two efforts:

  1. Adapting to operational energy requirements and security challenges in Afghanistan and other combat theatres;
  2. Hedging against future uncertainty in the global petroleum market.

Adapting to Operational Energy Challenges

Military leaders have become increasingly worried about operational energy challenges in Afghanistan and other theatres where U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen are deployed and are working to reduce the demand for energy that must be transported across volatile terrain.

To date, part of the military’s effort to reduce operational energy requirements includes:

  • prioritizing energy efficiency in the acquisitions process for new combat platforms;
  • fielding micro-grid technology to more efficiently manage traditional power distribution systems that waste energy;
  • replacing — where possible — diesel-fuelled generators with solar panels and other renewable energy sources;
  • equipping soldiers with advanced batteries that stay charged longer to help keep them in the fight;
  • and increasing awareness among all U.S. military personnel about energy use to help promote conservation practices.

There are clear operational advantages to reducing the fuel required by military personnel in theater. In particular, reducing fuel consumption also curbs the demand for petroleum that has to be trucked across dangerous territory where the fuel and the soldiers and contractors transporting it are vulnerable to insurgent attack.

According to a 2009 Army Environmental Policy Institute study, for every 24 fuel convoys deployed in Afghanistan, one U.S soldier is wounded or killed. Those casualty counts are even more striking in the aggregate: the most recent estimates from the Department of Defense found that between 2003 and 2007, more than 3,000 Army personnel and private contractors were wounded or killed by insurgents attacking fuel and water convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And besides the need to reduce unnecessary causalities, curbing the amount of fuel that has to be transported into a combat zone can act as a force multiplier, enabling soldiers that would otherwise be guarding convoys to reenter the fight.

There are also financial advantages to reducing operational energy requirements that are becoming increasingly relevant in a fiscally constrained budget environment. In general, reducing total energy consumption can help insulate the Department of Defense from dramatic energy price spikes. The Department of Defense estimates that every $1 increase in a barrel of oil adds approximately $130 million to the military’s energy bill.

Moreover, fuel consumed in combat zones is by its nature more expensive due to the fully burdened cost of fuel — that is, the total cost from acquiring the fuel from a supplier to delivering it to troops at the tactical edge in countries like Afghanistan. The personnel and transportation costs of delivering fuel by jet, truck or helicopter add to the initial $2 a gallon cost of fuel. Although the fully burdened cost of fuel has been suggested by some to top $400 a gallon, the Marine Energy Assessment Team, or MEAT, offers a more conservative assessment. According to the findings from a 2009 visit to Afghanistan, DOD’s Defense Energy Support Center paid $2.19 per gallon for fuel. When the fuel was delivered to the operational level — a forward operating base — in Afghanistan, the price increased to $6.39 a gallon. The MEAT then estimated that it cost $11.70 per gallon at the tactical edge — for those military units deployed outside the wire, presumably at remote outposts.

(Read More: The Navy’s Biofuels Program and the Great Green Fleet – Opportunities and Risks)

The uniqueness of each war often makes it difficult for defense planners to develop lessons learned from one conflict and apply them directly to the next one — except when it comes to operational energy. The experiences of fueling the force during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have revealed a critical choke point that the U.S. military can address: the delivery of fuel to troops in combat. The Department of Defense is leading efforts today to reduce fuel requirements and — where possible — plug in renewable energy technologies in lieu of diesel generators and other systems requiring loads of fuel, enabling the U.S. military to be more effective war fighters by managing the risks of delivering fuel in conflict. At the end of the day it is about reducing the amount of petroleum needed to fuel the force.

Hedging Against Strategic Uncertainty in the Global Energy Market

On the other side of the military energy coin are the efforts underway at the Department of Defense to research, develop and test alternative fuels, such as algae-based biofuel, and by the Navy to cooperate with the Departments of Agriculture and Energy in public-private sector ventures to develop refineries and scale up commercially available biofuel. Although these efforts are related to the work being done by DOD officials to assuage operational energy concerns, the military’s broad investments in biofuels have a different goal in mind: preparing to fuel the force using non-petroleum fuels.

Critics charge military leaders and administration officials with promoting a green agenda — using war fighters to combat climate change instead of violent extremists. But that is not it at all. Although being environmentally sustainable and promoting security are not mutually exclusive, the investments in alternative energy are first and foremost about ensuring that U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen have access to the fuel they need to conduct their operations and protect U.S. interests decades from now.

There is a lot of uncertainty in the future petroleum market that is stirring anxieties about assured access to energy. Although technological breakthroughs in hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”), ultradeep water offshore oil drilling and other techniques are unlocking new petroleum reserves in the western hemisphere to augment Middle East reserves, demand for energy could still outpace supply by mid-century, largely as a result of demand from major developing economies like China, Brazil, India and Turkey. As a result, petroleum supplies could become increasingly tight.

The Department of Defense increasingly faces concerns about assured access to energy resources necessary to power the military. Major supply disruptions stemming from conflict in the Persian Gulf that could close (even if only temporarily) the Strait of Hormuz, or a natural disaster that takes U.S. domestic petroleum refineries offline pose major challenges for the U.S. military and its dependence on petroleum. And even though legislation gives the Department of Defense priority access to U.S. domestic petroleum reserves, some policymakers share concerns that a long-term disruption could exhaust those supplies and put at risk the U.S. military’s ability to conduct its missions.

U.S. military investments in alternative biofuels are driven largely by this uncertainty in the global petroleum market and the need to reduce reliance on petroleum, which provides nearly 80 percent of all DOD energy. Diversification is the aim of the game. While energy conservation and efficiency programs and electrification of non-combat vehicles help hedge against this uncertainty by reducing the overall demand for energy, liquid fuels remain the real albatross for the military. Purchasing, producing and testing advanced biofuels that can serve as a drop-in replacement to conventional gasoline decades from now help diversify the liquid fuel sources and reduce the vulnerability of being tethered to only one source of fuel. The emphasis on drop-in replacement fuels is important: DOD is procuring aircraft, ships and vehicles today that will be in service for many decades and, as such, new liquid fuels must be chemically equivalent to work in engines being designed today.

Although current biofuels are not cost competitive with petroleum, the Department of Defense cannot wait for a petroleum supply disruption before it tests and evaluates new fuels in its combat equipment. Making investments in advanced biofuels today will drive the development so that these fuels (if and when they are needed) are standardized for military use. This will help the U.S. military hedge against a future where petroleum resources may be scarcer, requiring the military to rely on drop-in replacements. While critics will argue against this plausible but seemingly remote future, the military must be prepared for a range of contingencies, especially high-threat but low-probability ones.

(Read More: Current and Projected Costs for Biofuels from Algae and Pyrolysis)

Finally, DOD’s motivation to invest in clean biofuels such as hydro-treated algae fuel versus dirty alternative fuels derived from coal-to-liquid technologies is in part a response to the changing regulatory environment in the United States and abroad that is demanding the use of less-carbon intensive energy sources. President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order in October 2009 that charged federal agencies to measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, providing military leaders with guidance on renewable energy investments. Additionally, many U.S. states like California have instituted renewable energy regulations that compel compliance by the U.S. military active in those states. Moreover, foreign countries in Europe and elsewhere have increased their environmental standards, including regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from fuels. The Department of Defense must be prepared to adapt to these emerging environmental regulations in order to guarantee the U.S. military’s freedom of access to foreign ports and territories.

Conclusion

Defense officials and military leaders overseeing DOD energy programs are promoting two linked but distinct efforts to address energy concerns.

The operational energy challenges that the United States faces today in Afghanistan and other countries threatens both blood and treasure. Military investments in energy efficiency and conservation programs, including renewable technologies that can displace the demand for petroleum, will help logisticians adapt to the challenges of fueling the force in a combat zone by reducing the total energy requirement and managing more efficiently the energy the military does consume.

Finally, given the strategic uncertainty of the global petroleum market, defense officials are helping lead the effort to research, develop, test and evaluate advanced biofuels that can serve as a drop-in replacement to conventional fuels.

Continuing these efforts will help the Department of Defense ensure it its prepared to adapt to a future where petroleum resources are increasingly scarce (even if that scenario seems remote), and, more importantly, ensure that its platforms will operate just as well on drop-in fuels.

This article originally appeared in Consumer Energy Report and is being republished with their permission. Their newsletter, Energy Trends Insider, identifies trends and provides in-depth analysis on issues in the energy sector.

“Biofuels have the momentum”: US Senate votes 54-41 to clear Navy’s path to affordable, advanced biofuels capacity

In Washington, the US Senate voted 54-41 in favor of an amendment offered by Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina to repeal section 2823 of the annual Defense appropriations bill.

Sec. 2823 of the FY13 NDAA (S. 3524) would have prohibited the Secretary of Defense or any other official from the Department of Defense (DoD) from entering into a contract to plan, design, refurbish, or construct a biofuels refinery or any other facility or infrastructure used to refine biofuels unless such planning, design, refurbishment, or construction is specifically authorized by law.

The Committee-passed annual Defense Authorization bill would have blocked efforts to develop a commercial supply of cost-competitive advanced biofuels as detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Udall and Hagan amendments

In the case of the Udall Amendment, observers noted that the provisions still have to survive a House-Senate conference on the Defense Bill, because the House passed a provision similar to the language that was deleted by the Udall Amendment.  However, the House did not pass a provision similar to the provision deleted by the Hagan amendment. “On that provision, we’re done,” noted Mike McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association.

On the overall impact of the two votes, McAdams added, “Today’s vote was loud and clear,” said Mike McAdams. “The Senate once again backed our nation’s military which considers advanced biofuels as an essential tool for our national security and energy independence.”

The bill gained support from Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who earlier in the week had opposed an amendment offered by Senator Mark Udall of Colorado to repeal section 313 of the annual Defense appropriations bill. Section 313 language, which was offered by Senator Inhofe and adopted in Committee, prohibits DOD from procuring alternative fuels if they cost more than their conventional counterparts.

Five Republicans who had voted for the Udall Amendment, opposed the Hagan amendment – Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Olympia Snow of Maine, and John Thune of South Dakota.

Two Democrats, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Claire McCaskill of Missouri did not vote but had been expected to side with the bill. Republicans Dick Lugar of Indiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Charles Grassley of Iowa supported the bill.

Industry reaction

Mike Breen, Executive DIrector of the Truman Project, said, “The DoD has a long history of encouraging private-public partnerships that result in new opportunities for civilian industries.  Advanced biofuels can be the next success story.  Senator Hagan’s amendment supports a Defense Production Act program that requires equal investments from government and private stakeholders to create full-scale advanced biofuels production capabilities.”

“This is the second successful vote in two days,” added Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis, “supporting renewable fuels and the message lawmakers are sending is clear – biofuels play a critical role in developing a diversified energy portfolio to meet our growing energy needs and increase our energy independence.

““Biofuels have the momentum,” said Adam Monroe, President of Novozymes North America, said. “In the last two days the Senate has voted twice to support biofuel development. Congress is moving America forward with public/private partnerships that are putting steel in the ground and creating careers on advanced biofuel projects while providing the stability and security the Department of Defense wants.

“We now have two examples in two days of the strength and momentum behind renewable fuels,” commented Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “Americans believe in biofuels and see a future that is strong, bright and energy independent.”

Phyliis Cuttino, director of the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and CLimate, said that “the Senate’s strong and bi-partisan support for the Udall and Hagan amendments sends a clear message: the Pentagon’s clean energy initiatives to reduce dependence on foreign oil and strengthen our national security should be encouraged and protected.”

Roll-call: The geography of support

The geography of support is shown below – green representing states where both Senators voted in favor of the Udall amendment, blue representing a split vote, and brown representing states where both Senators voted against.

The full-size map is here.

 

Alphabetical vote by Senator Name

Akaka (D-HI), Yea

Alexander (R-TN), Nay

Ayotte (R-NH), Nay

Barrasso (R-WY), Nay

Baucus (D-MT), Yea

Begich (D-AK), Yea

Bennet (D-CO), Yea

Bingaman (D-NM), Yea

Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea

Blunt (R-MO), Nay

Boozman (R-AR), Nay

Boxer (D-CA), Yea

Brown (D-OH), Yea

Brown (R-MA), Nay

Burr (R-NC), Nay

Cantwell (D-WA), Yea

Cardin (D-MD), Yea

Carper (D-DE), Yea

Casey (D-PA), Yea

Chambliss (R-GA), Nay

Coats (R-IN), Nay

Coburn (R-OK), Nay

Cochran (R-MS), Nay

Collins (R-ME), Yea

Conrad (D-ND), Yea

Coons (D-DE), Yea

Corker (R-TN), Nay

Cornyn (R-TX), Nay

Crapo (R-ID), Nay

DeMint (R-SC), Not Voting

Durbin (D-IL), Yea

Enzi (R-WY), Nay

Feinstein (D-CA), Yea

Franken (D-MN), Yea

Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea

Graham (R-SC), Nay

Grassley (R-IA), Yea

Hagan (D-NC), Yea

Harkin (D-IA), Yea

Hatch (R-UT), Nay

Heller (R-NV), Not Voting

Hoeven (R-ND), Nay

Hutchison (R-TX), Nay

Inhofe (R-OK), Nay

Inouye (D-HI), Yea

Isakson (R-GA), Nay

Johanns (R-NE), Yea

Johnson (D-SD), Yea

Johnson (R-WI), Nay

Kerry (D-MA), Yea

Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting

Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea

Kohl (D-WI), Yea

Kyl (R-AZ), Nay

Landrieu (D-LA), Yea

Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea

Leahy (D-VT), Yea

Lee (R-UT), Nay

Levin (D-MI), Yea

Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea

Lugar (R-IN), Yea

Manchin (D-WV), Yea

McCain (R-AZ), Nay

McCaskill (D-MO), Not Voting

McConnell (R-KY), Nay

Menendez (D-NJ), Yea

Merkley (D-OR), Yea

Mikulski (D-MD), Yea

Moran (R-KS), Nay

Murkowski (R-AK), Nay

Murray (D-WA), Yea

Nelson (D-FL), Yea

Nelson (D-NE), Yea

Paul (R-KY), Nay

Portman (R-OH), Nay

Pryor (D-AR), Yea

Reed (D-RI), Yea

Reid (D-NV), Yea

Risch (R-ID), Nay

Roberts (R-KS), Nay

Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea

Rubio (R-FL), Nay

Sanders (I-VT), Yea

Schumer (D-NY), Yea

Sessions (R-AL), Nay

Shaheen (D-NH), Yea

Shelby (R-AL), Nay

Snowe (R-ME), Nay

Stabenow (D-MI), Yea

Tester (D-MT), Yea

Thune (R-SD), Nay

Toomey (R-PA), Nay

Udall (D-CO), Yea

Udall (D-NM), Yea

Vitter (R-LA), Nay

Warner (D-VA), Yea

Webb (D-VA), Nay

Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea

Wicker (R-MS), Nay

Wyden (D-OR), Not Voting

 

Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs —54
Akaka (D-HI)

Baucus (D-MT)

Begich (D-AK)

Bennet (D-CO)

Bingaman (D-NM)

Blumenthal (D-CT)

Boxer (D-CA)

Brown (D-OH)

Cantwell (D-WA)

Cardin (D-MD)

Carper (D-DE)

Casey (D-PA)

Collins (R-ME)

Conrad (D-ND)

Coons (D-DE)

Durbin (D-IL)

Feinstein (D-CA)

Franken (D-MN)

Gillibrand (D-NY)

Grassley (R-IA)

Hagan (D-NC)

Harkin (D-IA)

Inouye (D-HI)

Johanns (R-NE)

Johnson (D-SD)

Kerry (D-MA)

Klobuchar (D-MN)

Kohl (D-WI)

Landrieu (D-LA)

Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Leahy (D-VT)

Levin (D-MI)

Lieberman (ID-CT)

Lugar (R-IN)

Manchin (D-WV)

Menendez (D-NJ)

Merkley (D-OR)

Mikulski (D-MD)

Murray (D-WA)

Nelson (D-FL)

Nelson (D-NE)

Pryor (D-AR)

Reed (D-RI)

Reid (D-NV)

Rockefeller (D-WV)

Sanders (I-VT)

Schumer (D-NY)

Shaheen (D-NH)

Stabenow (D-MI)

Tester (D-MT)

Udall (D-CO)

Udall (D-NM)

Warner (D-VA)

Whitehouse (D-RI)

NAYs —41
Alexander (R-TN)

Ayotte (R-NH)

Barrasso (R-WY)

Blunt (R-MO)

Boozman (R-AR)

Brown (R-MA)

Burr (R-NC)

Chambliss (R-GA)

Coats (R-IN)

Coburn (R-OK)

Cochran (R-MS)

Corker (R-TN)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Crapo (R-ID)

Enzi (R-WY)

Graham (R-SC)

Hatch (R-UT)

Hoeven (R-ND)

Hutchison (R-TX)

Inhofe (R-OK)

Isakson (R-GA)

Johnson (R-WI)

Kyl (R-AZ)

Lee (R-UT)

McCain (R-AZ)

McConnell (R-KY)

Moran (R-KS)

Murkowski (R-AK)

Paul (R-KY)

Portman (R-OH)

Risch (R-ID)

Roberts (R-KS)

Rubio (R-FL)

Sessions (R-AL)

Shelby (R-AL)

Snowe (R-ME)

Thune (R-SD)

Toomey (R-PA)

Vitter (R-LA)

Webb (D-VA)

Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting – 5
DeMint (R-SC)

Heller (R-NV)

Kirk (R-IL)

McCaskill (D-MO)

Wyden (D-OR

 

Grouped by Home State

Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Nay Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Yea Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Nay McCain (R-AZ), Nay
Arkansas: Boozman (R-AR), Nay Pryor (D-AR), Yea
California: Boxer (D-CA), Yea Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Yea Udall (D-CO), Yea
Connecticut: Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Yea Coons (D-DE), Yea
Florida: Nelson (D-FL), Yea Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Nay Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Yea Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Nay Risch (R-ID), Nay
Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Yea Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting
Indiana: Coats (R-IN), Nay Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Kansas: Moran (R-KS), Nay Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Kentucky: McConnell (R-KY), Nay Paul (R-KY), Nay
Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Yea Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea Snowe (R-ME), Nay
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Yea Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Massachusetts: Brown (R-MA), Nay Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Yea Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Minnesota: Franken (D-MN), Yea Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Nay Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Missouri: Blunt (R-MO), Nay McCaskill (D-MO), Not Voting
Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Yea Tester (D-MT), Yea
Nebraska: Johanns (R-NE), Yea Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Nevada: Heller (R-NV), Not Voting Reid (D-NV), Yea
New Hampshire: Ayotte (R-NH), Nay Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Yea Udall (D-NM), Yea
New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea Schumer (D-NY), Yea
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Nay Hagan (D-NC), Yea
North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Yea Hoeven (R-ND), Nay
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Yea Portman (R-OH), Nay
Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Nay Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Yea Wyden (D-OR), Not Voting
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Yea Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Not Voting Graham (R-SC), Nay
South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Yea Thune (R-SD), Nay
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Nay Corker (R-TN), Nay
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Nay Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Utah: Hatch (R-UT), Nay Lee (R-UT), Nay
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Yea Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Virginia: Warner (D-VA), Yea Webb (D-VA), Nay
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Yea Murray (D-WA), Yea
West Virginia: Manchin (D-WV), Yea Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Wisconsin: Johnson (R-WI), Nay Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Nay Enzi (R-WY), Nay

 

 

Senate roll-call on military aviation biofuels: the geography of support

In Washington, the US Senate voted 62-37 in favor of an amendment offered by Senator Mark Udall of Colorado to repeal section 313 of the annual Defense appropriations bill.

Section 313 language, which was offered by Senator Inhofe and adopted in Committee, prohibits DOD from procuring alternative fuels if they cost more than their conventional counterparts.

The geography of support is shown below – green representing states where both Senators voted in favor of the Udall amendment, blue representing a split vote, and brown representing states where both Senators voted against.

Full size map is here.

Alphabetical by Senator Name

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Ayotte (R-NH), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea
Blunt (R-MO), Yea
Boozman (R-AR), Nay
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Brown (R-MA), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Coats (R-IN), Nay
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Franken (D-MN), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Hagan (D-NC), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Heller (R-NV), Nay
Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johanns (R-NE), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Johnson (R-WI), Nay
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Lee (R-UT), Nay
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Nay
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Moran (R-KS), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Paul (R-KY), Nay
Portman (R-OH), Nay
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Yea
Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Nay
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Yea

Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs —62
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs —37
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Boozman (R-AR)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Webb (D-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Not Voting – 1
Kirk (R-IL)

By State:

Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Nay Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Yea Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Nay McCain (R-AZ), Nay
Arkansas: Boozman (R-AR), Nay Pryor (D-AR), Yea
California: Boxer (D-CA), Yea Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Yea Udall (D-CO), Yea
Connecticut: Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Yea Coons (D-DE), Yea
Florida: Nelson (D-FL), Yea Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Nay Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Yea Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Nay Risch (R-ID), Nay
Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Yea Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting
Indiana: Coats (R-IN), Nay Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Kansas: Moran (R-KS), Yea Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Kentucky: McConnell (R-KY), Nay Paul (R-KY), Nay
Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Yea Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Yea Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Massachusetts: Brown (R-MA), Nay Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Yea Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Minnesota: Franken (D-MN), Yea Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Yea Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Missouri: Blunt (R-MO), Yea McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Yea Tester (D-MT), Yea
Nebraska: Johanns (R-NE), Yea Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Nevada: Heller (R-NV), Nay Reid (D-NV), Yea
New Hampshire: Ayotte (R-NH), Nay Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Yea Udall (D-NM), Yea
New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea Schumer (D-NY), Yea
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Nay Hagan (D-NC), Yea
North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Yea Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Yea Portman (R-OH), Nay
Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Nay Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Yea Wyden (D-OR), Yea
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Yea Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Nay Graham (R-SC), Nay
South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Yea Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Nay Corker (R-TN), Nay
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Nay Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Utah: Hatch (R-UT), Nay Lee (R-UT), Nay
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Yea Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Virginia: Warner (D-VA), Yea Webb (D-VA), Nay
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Yea Murray (D-WA), Yea
West Virginia: Manchin (D-WV), Nay Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Wisconsin: Johnson (R-WI), Nay Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Nay Enzi (R-WY), Nay

 

Triple Win for Biofuels on Capitol Hill; $$$ for Military Biofuels; Tax Extenders Package; Algae wins tax credit parity

Advanced biofuels make a stunning comeback in Washington with three quick committee-level touchdowns on military biofuels, tax credits and algae parity; full Senate vote, conference with House by September?

In Washington, the US Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Finance Committee handed the advanced biofuels industry three of its most significant wins on Capitol Hill this year.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, in approving the 2013 Defense budget, appropriated $70M for the Navy biofuels program, and added $100 million to the Defense Production Act “to build production capacity for critical defense-related initiatives,” which reflects potential funding for the Navy’s proposed military biofuels program.

The House bill did not fund the $70 million requested by the Administration for the Navy biofuels project, but did add an appropriation $50M in general funds for defense-related initiatives. The differences between the House and Senate versions will be worked out in conference.

In Washington, the Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the fiscal year 2013 Defense bill by a vote of 30-0; and the Legislative Branch bill by a vote of 22-8.  Both measures will now be reported to the full Senate for its consideration.  The defense measures had been supported by a coalition of stakeholder organizations including Airlines for America, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Advanced Biofuels Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, National Farmers Union and Operation Free.

Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee marked up the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, which included key energy efficiency and biofuels tax credit provisions.  Included in the bill: the Cellulosic Biofuels Producer Tax Credit (PTC), the Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Cellulosic Biofuel Plant Property,  clean fuel vehicle refueling property credits,  a two-year extension of the R&D tax credit, and an extension of the $1 per gallon biodiesel blender’s credit. The committee also added parity for algal biofuels in the tax extenders package.

Both the Appropriations and Finance Committee measures now move to the full Senate for consideration, and to conference with the House of Representatives to reconcile differences between Senate and House Appropriations. Votes are expected on the appropriations bills in September.

Industry reaction

Mike McAdams, President, Advanced Biofuels Association

“The domestic advanced biofuel industry can play a huge part in promoting energy security, which is critical for military readiness and national security. Ensuring the reliability and affordability of fuel supplies through diversification to advanced drop-in alternative fuels is essential to sustain the U.S. military’s readiness, since oil price volatility has already negatively impacted military readiness.

“Private companies have made substantial investments and rapid progress in researching and developing advanced biofuels. Building new advanced biofuel biorefineries requires large capital investments at a time when capital formation has been hampered by the recent economic downturn. The military’s ability to use its Defense Production Act authority can help attract private investment to construct biorefineries and meet the military’s need for energy security.”

“The Senate Finance Committee’s work is a strong show of continued bipartisan support for our industry. Today’s vote is a signal to the marketplace that the federal government is commited to tax support for this industry. Our members believe that extending these tax credits are a good value for every taxpayer and energy customer in the United States.”

BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood

“Tax policy should be focused on driving innovation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, lower gas prices, and create high quality U.S. based career opportunities. Perhaps more than any other investment, biorefineries can help achieve these objectives by leveraging U.S. biotech innovation and agricultural productivity to revitalize domestic manufacturing.

“Advanced biofuel and renewable chemicals tax credits drive innovation while leveling the playing field for U.S. companies and ensuring these American-born technology innovations are deployed here at home.

“U.S. tax policy should support the full range of biorefinery opportunities – biofuels, biobased products, and renewable chemicals – and extending the tax credits helps to do just that. Producing affordable domestic alternatives to all products that come from foreign oil is vital to renewed economic growth and energy security. These tax credits give companies that are innovating a stable policy to bring commercial-scale alternatives to the market.

“By extending the cellulosic biofuels producer tax credit and accelerated depreciation allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant property, and by adding algae-based biofuels to these two sections of the code, this proposal sends an important signal to investors that Congress continues to support the key role these technologies must play in securing our energy future.

Brooke Coleman, Executive Director, Advanced Ethanol Council 



“The advanced biofuels industry commends the Senate Finance Committee for recognizing the need to provide continuity in the advanced biofuels marketplace while Congress tackles the bigger issue of comprehensive tax reform.”

“Congress is right to take a hard look at all tax incentives for all energy industries, including fossil fuels. And we look forward to the day when we can restore parity to the tax code when it comes to energy development. But until that day comes, it is critical to maintain stability in the marketplace for emerging industries. This strong, bipartisan vote sends a strong signal to the marketplace that Congress understands the urgent need to address these expiring credits, and we look forward to getting these incentives extended as soon as possible.”

John Plaza, CEO of Imperium Renewables

We are very pleased that the Senate Finance Committee has approved the bipartisan tax extenders package that includes the $1 per gallon biodiesel blender’s credit. We want to recognize the efforts of Committee leaders, Chairman MaxBaucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, (R-UT), and especially Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for supporting this credit which is critical to our industry.

With the passage of the Tax Extenders Package out of the Senate Finance Committee, a strong message of bi-partisan support from the Senate leaders highlights the importance of a healthy, domestic biodiesel industry for the nation, and hopefully sets the tone for quick and successful passage in the Senate and the House.